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Lockerbie

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the recent resolution from the Organisation of African Unity relating to Lockerbie; and if he will make a statement. [47574]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The authority of United Nations Security Council resolutions must be upheld. With the Governments of France and the United States, we have expressed concern to member states of the OAU at the recent resolution, and have called on them to fulfil their obligations under the United Nations Charter.

European Policy

Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list the strategy meetings which have taken place at Downing Street since 11 May to discuss policy towards the European Union to which he or Ministers in his Department were invited; [47555]

Mr. Doug Henderson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him today by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

Export Licences

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Ministerial directions he has issued relating to the issue of export licences for the sale of British manufactured goods to Argentina since 2 May 1997. [47569]

Mr. Tony Lloyd [holding answer 25 June 1998]: There have been no such ministerial directions since 2 May 1997. We continue to consider export licence applications for Argentina in line with the criteria

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announced by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 28 July 1997, Official Report, columns 26-29, and the Government's announcement of 3 April 1982, Official Report, column 638, which was reported by Mr. John Biffen, the then Secretary of State for Trade, on 5 April 1982, Official Report, columns 688-90.

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) additions and (b) withdrawals since 2 May 1997 to the list of countries to which his Department will not grant an export licence for the sale of British defence equipment. [47828]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: A summary of Government commitments regarding the application of strategic export controls, which includes all arms embargoes observed by the UK, has been laid in the Library. As noted in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. King) on 28 January 1998, Official Report, columns 273-74, an updated version of the summary will be laid in the Library annually (or more frequently if policy changes require a revision).

Licence applications for the export of conventional arms to all countries are considered on a case by case basis against the arms export criteria announced by right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 28 July 1997, Official Report, columns 26-29, and the European Code of Conduct on Arms Exports adopted by the General Affairs Council on 8 June 1998.

Ramsgate-Ostend Ferries

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to seek to enforce EU Treaty obligations under Articles 90 and 86 and to secure the right for ferry passengers from Ramsgate to land freely in Ostend; and if he will make a statement. [47717]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The British Embassy in Belgium are pressing the Belgian authorities to take action to enable the Sally Direct passenger ferry service from Ramsgate to Ostend to commence as soon as possible. Whether the company has any remedies under the competition or other provisions of Community law is a matter for it and its advisers.

Drugs Trade

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to combat the drugs trade in Central Asia. [47326]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The UK EU Presidency has co-ordinated Commission and Member State activity under the EU Central Asia Drugs Initiative, established in response to an Anglo-French proposal. We have participated in, and given practical support to, EU project design missions.

Since 1995, the UK has provided £1.14 million for the UNDCP Central Asia programme. There will also be over £150,000 of drugs-related bilateral assistance to the region in 1998.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [47330]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We continue to have concerns over the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As head of an EU Ministerial Troika, I met President Kabila on 4 June. I welcomed President Kabila's assurances that his Government wish to promote and protect human rights, but made clear the extent of concern within the EU over a number of specific human rights issues.

South China Sea

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea. [47383]

Mr. Fatchett: The Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim specific parts of the South China Sea, while China, Taiwan and Vietnam claim all of its islands, islets and reefs.

The South China Sea is regularly discussed at meetings under the auspices of the ASEAN Regional Forum and in a series of Indonesian-initiated regional workshops.

The UK takes no position on respective claims, but hopes disputes can be resolved peacefully.

Cuba

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Cuba to respect human rights and the conduct of elections. [47386]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: When my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State meets visiting Cuban Government Ministers and the Cuban Ambassador, she raises political reform and human rights among other issues, in line with the EU Common Position on Cuba. She will do so again when she meets the Cuban Vice Foreign Minister, Isabel Allende, in London on 29 June. Our Embassy in Havana regularly raise these issues with the Cuban Government.

Pakistan

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of disclosure by Loral Space and Communications of information relating to the performance of Long March Rocheli on Pakistan's capability to deliver nuclear warheads. [47790]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The issues surrounding the disclosure by Loral Space, and others, of a report on Space Launch Vehicles to the Chinese is currently the subject of an investigation by the US Justice Department. It would not, therefore, be proper for us to comment on this investigation. We consider, however, that any information on Space Launch Vehicles which may have been passed to the Chinese would not immediately enhance Pakistan's current capability to deliver nuclear weapons.

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Togo

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the conduct of the election in Togo. [47328]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We are deeply concerned about the conduct of the Presidential elections in Togo. In particular, we deplore the many irregularities with the electoral process: unequal access to the media, problems with the voter list and polling cards, the suspension of the count, the confiscation of ballot boxes by the military, the resignation of the head of the national electoral commission, and the harassment of election monitors.

The UK as Presidency of the European Union issued a declaration on 26 June expressing these concerns and urging all parties involved to refrain from violence.

Africa (Embassy Services)

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance is provided by British embassies to businesses wishing to work in Francophone Africa. [47332]

Mr. Fatchett: British Embassies assist businesses wishing to work in Francophone Africa by providing information on overseas markets and finding local business contacts. They also help to promote products and services, give political and economic briefings, and assist British companies that wish to participate in trade fairs and missions. For instance, the British Embassy in Cote d'Ivoire and the DTI organised a trade fair and financial conference on 2-7 March this year. This was the largest UK trade promotion event in tropical Francophone Africa in the last ten years.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance is provided by British high commissions to businesses wishing to work in Anglophone Africa. [47331]

Mr. Fatchett: British High Commissions assist businesses wishing to work in Anglophone Africa by providing information on overseas markets and finding local business contacts. They also help to promote products and services, give political and economic briefings, and assist British companies who wish to participate in trade fairs and missions.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance is provided by the High Commission in South Africa to British exporters and investors. [47334]

Mr. Fatchett: The British High Commission in South Africa provides a full range of overseas trade services to British exporters and investors. In addition, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, together with the South African Minister for Trade and Industry, launched on 27 May, a new three-year campaign--"Britain and South Africa--partners in opportunity". This will include developing a gateway website about South Africa for potential exporters, and a new search and matching process "Active Partners", to match small and medium-sized firms in the UK and South Africa. My hon. Friend the Minister for Small Firms, Trade and Industry will also lead a trade and investment mission to South Africa from 27 to 29 July, and my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade will co-host with the

29 Jun 1998 : Column: 72

South African Minister for Trade and Industry a "Partnership Week" in Johannesburg from 14 to 17 September 1998.


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